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America has never been stronger, President Obama tells USMA graduates

WEST POINT – “American isolationism is not an option,” President Obama told the graduating Class of 2014 at West Point Wednesday morning.

In his commencement address to some 1,000 graduates, he said “America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. But, US military action cannot be the only, or even the primary component, of our leadership in every instance,” he told the graduates.

With the war in Afghanistan winding down, the President wants to take a different approach to world affairs and terrorism.

“I believe we must shift our counter-terrorism strategy, drawing on the successes and short-comings of our experience in Iraq and Afghanistan to more effectively partner with countries where terrorist networks seek a foothold,” he said. “And the need for a new strategy reflects the fact that today’s principal threat no longer comes from a centralized al Qaeda leadership. Instead it comes from a decentralized al Qaeda affiliates and extremists.”

The President said the US will use military force unilaterally if our homeland, people or way of life are threatened. He said America needs to work with others to take collective action where necessary and he said he would create a $5 billion counter-terrorism plan to aid countries like Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Syria to fight terrorist and insurgency.